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Poll

Are you more of a libertine or a responsibilitarian?

Libertine: "If I want to do something, it's right to do it, so long as it doesn't violate anyone else's rights."
Virtue libertarian: "Beyond not violating others' rights, people also have responsibilities and obligations that may override pure self-interest."

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Author Topic: Libertine or virtue libertarian?  (Read 27524 times)

dalebert

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Re: Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« Reply #75 on: August 01, 2010, 07:54:20 pm »

Dale, who is much more of a virtue libertarian, criticizes the 'obligation' as coming across as nagging and counter productive.

Interesting since I voted myself libertine, just as the closest choice because I found the choices rather flawed as well.

"Hagrid"

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Re: Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« Reply #76 on: August 02, 2010, 08:35:30 am »

Dale, who is much more of a virtue libertarian, criticizes the 'obligation' as coming across as nagging and counter productive.

Interesting since I voted myself libertine, just as the closest choice because I found the choices rather flawed as well.


As an external observer, your community involvement posting put you more into virtue libertarian in my mind, but of course, you'd know yourself better :)

dalebert

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Re: Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« Reply #77 on: August 02, 2010, 01:32:18 pm »

I just acknowledge what seems readily apparent to me-- that everything I do is for self-serving reasons.  It's just a matter of short-sightedness when someone behaves in a really self-centered manner and fails to realize that it's not serving their long-term self interest.

You could simplify the poll.  Since most libertarians are fairly well versed in the terminology of rights already, you could say

a) Do you believe in negative rights?
b) Do you believe in positive rights?

They are mutually exclusive concepts, after all.

WendellBerry

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Re: Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« Reply #78 on: August 02, 2010, 02:28:27 pm »

I just acknowledge what seems readily apparent to me-- that everything I do is for self-serving reasons.  It's just a matter of short-sightedness when someone behaves in a really self-centered manner and fails to realize that it's not serving their long-term self interest.

You could simplify the poll.  Since most libertarians are fairly well versed in the terminology of rights already, you could say

a) Do you believe in negative rights?
b) Do you believe in positive rights?

They are mutually exclusive concepts, after all.


Yes but he is not talking about legal obligation that require someone to labor for someone else (positive rights) but rather moral obligations to other members of a community.
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"Hagrid"

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Re: Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« Reply #79 on: August 02, 2010, 02:44:41 pm »

Yes but he is not talking about legal obligation that require someone to labor for someone else (positive rights) but rather moral obligations to other members of a community.

Exactly....

With moral defined within as what ethical/religious/philosophic/etc creed/religion/faith/belief you wish to invoke.

Dale, we're not talking positive rights... mandatory charity is an oxymoron.  But choosing to (do or not do) something you have the right to (do or not do) is another level of decision making.

Dreepa

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Re: Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« Reply #80 on: August 02, 2010, 02:52:06 pm »

i don't know the difference between a positive right or negative right.
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dalebert

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Re: Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« Reply #81 on: August 02, 2010, 04:29:14 pm »

Dale, we're not talking positive rights... mandatory charity is an oxymoron.  But choosing to (do or not do) something you have the right to (do or not do) is another level of decision making.

You're deliberately phrasing it in a less meaningful way than he did in the loaded questions though.  You can talk about peacefully persuading people to make different decisions which is perfectly in line with negative rights.  When you use words like "obligations and responsibilities", the obvious implication is a positive right to control the behavior of others, and as it's phrased, it specifically includes behavior beyond that which violates rights (negative ones, that is, the only kind that make sense).  And "which may override self-interest" is only a slightly wordy expression for "self-sacrifice"-- "you have obligations and responsibilities to others which may involve self-sacrifice".
« Last Edit: August 02, 2010, 04:36:31 pm by dalebert »
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JasonPSorens

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Re: Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« Reply #82 on: August 02, 2010, 05:31:23 pm »

When you use words like "obligations and responsibilities", the obvious implication is a positive right to control the behavior of others, and as it's phrased, it specifically includes behavior beyond that which violates rights (negative ones, that is, the only kind that make sense).

Not at all - in fact, that interpretation is explicitly ruled out: "Beyond not violating others' rights..." In other words, the poll asks whether you believe that you can have moral obligations/responsibilities that shouldn't be enforced legally. I gave some examples earlier in the thread. Flipping someone off in traffic doesn't violate anyone's rights, but some might say that one has a moral obligation not to do it nevertheless, and that it shouldn't be illegal for you to do it. You don't believe that - OK. That's what I was asking with the poll.

Quote
And "which may override self-interest" is only a slightly wordy expression for "self-sacrifice"-- "you have obligations and responsibilities to others which may involve self-sacrifice".

Sure. But where do you get coercion or control out of that?
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MaineShark

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Re: Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« Reply #83 on: August 02, 2010, 07:38:57 pm »

When you use words like "obligations and responsibilities", the obvious implication is a positive right to control the behavior of others, and as it's phrased, it specifically includes behavior beyond that which violates rights (negative ones, that is, the only kind that make sense).
Not at all - in fact, that interpretation is explicitly ruled out: "Beyond not violating others' rights..." In other words, the poll asks whether you believe that you can have moral obligations/responsibilities that shouldn't be enforced legally. I gave some examples earlier in the thread. Flipping someone off in traffic doesn't violate anyone's rights, but some might say that one has a moral obligation not to do it nevertheless, and that it shouldn't be illegal for you to do it. You don't believe that - OK. That's what I was asking with the poll.
Quote
And "which may override self-interest" is only a slightly wordy expression for "self-sacrifice"-- "you have obligations and responsibilities to others which may involve self-sacrifice".
Sure. But where do you get coercion or control out of that?

Because moral obligations can be enforced?  Else, you're just talking a personal, aesthetic opinion.  Flipping folks off in traffic violates my aesthetic principles, so I don't tend to do it, and would encourage others not to.  If it were a moral obligation, then I would be justified in forcefully stopping others from doing it.

This post brought to you by, "words mean things."

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dalebert

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Re: Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« Reply #84 on: August 02, 2010, 10:08:03 pm »

Law is derived from morality, even natural law, and even if your notion of morality is secular and/or utilitarian, e.g. a tool created by humanity to help us get along and exist in a mutually beneficial fashion.  And with libertarians, morality inevitably incorporates language of rights which are critical for determining whether violence is justified, i.e. natural law.  To talk about morality and rights as two completely different and unrelated things makes no sense, at least not in the context of libertarianism.

A guy flipping someone off might think he's making his community a better place by discouraging bad driving, knowing he might get flipped off back or even risk road rage.  A lady going topless can believe she's creating cognitive dissonance about sexism and promoting equality at the risk of personal arrest.  Both of those actions might be chosen out of a sense of obligation and responsibility to the community.

I feel you're really misinterpreting true intentions rather than tackling a more difficult argument of utilitarianism.  Will going topless or smoking pot in public actually make the community a better place?  If someone believes it will, then they're better defined as a virtue libertarian per your definition.  I behave more like your virtue libertarian, but I do it purely for self-serving reasons and not out of any sense of obligation or responsibility, so I actually fit your definition of a libertine.

WendellBerry

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Re: Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« Reply #85 on: August 02, 2010, 10:16:14 pm »

i don't know the difference between a positive right or negative right.

a negative right means not to be subjected to an action from another person or group.

a positive right means to be subjected to an action from another person or group.

most libertarians believe positive rights are only explicitly those actions that one contracts directly from another person or group.

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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« Reply #86 on: August 02, 2010, 11:03:16 pm »

Natural Law isn't derived from morality. Morality is a collective concept that does not entail all life equally.
Natural Law derives from self-interest.
For instance a male lion upon defeating the old Pride Alpha will kill the cubs... thus increasing its genetic dominance.
Its not the moral act of a stepfather, but is natural and acting within its self-interest.

If it for some reason the lion chose not to kill the female cubs... I would presume that it did so for further hunting/mating possibilities in the future.

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dalebert

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Re: Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« Reply #87 on: August 03, 2010, 01:52:38 am »

I was referring to something more along the lines of, but not necessarily exactly like, this, which is more like what anarchists are typically referring to with the expression.  It might be in a lion's self-interest to be that violent, but it is arguably not in a human's, particularly when it's readily apparent how much we benefit from a mutually beneficial social structure and when the integrity of that structure is heavily dependent on respecting the rights of others.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 01:56:33 am by dalebert »
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« Reply #88 on: August 03, 2010, 07:31:36 am »

Most animals benefit from mutual beneficial social structure (hence why I used a lion). Its the social context of defining and sanctioning of Rights that differ.

Even interesting to watch individuals sanction a right in one instance, then oppose it in a comparable.
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JasonPSorens

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Re: Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« Reply #89 on: August 03, 2010, 09:17:34 am »

Law is derived from morality, even natural law, and even if your notion of morality is secular and/or utilitarian, e.g. a tool created by humanity to help us get along and exist in a mutually beneficial fashion.  And with libertarians, morality inevitably incorporates language of rights which are critical for determining whether violence is justified, i.e. natural law.  To talk about morality and rights as two completely different and unrelated things makes no sense, at least not in the context of libertarianism.

I don't think a virtue libertarian would find anything to disagree with there. For a virtue libertarian, rights are a subset of morality; for a libertine, they are the totality.

Quote
Will going topless or smoking pot in public actually make the community a better place?  If someone believes it will, then they're better defined as a virtue libertarian per your definition.  I behave more like your virtue libertarian, but I do it purely for self-serving reasons and not out of any sense of obligation or responsibility, so I actually fit your definition of a libertine.

Yes, that's right. I wanted to get at people's fundamental thinking about their actions, rather than whether they happen to have "conservative" or "progressive" tastes.
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"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism
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